Three’s the Magic Number


Jazlyn Valentin

     His father-figure is dead. While being constantly compared to Iron Man, his identity now leaked, and continuously running into villainous personas, he is still, or trying to be, an ordinary Senior in high school. I guess you could say Peter Parker has been having a tough time since Avengers: Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home. After two years of anxiously waiting, Marvel fans finally got to see their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Tom Holland, on the big screens once again. 

    Spider-Man: No Way Home, released on December 17, 2021, and only having been out for a little bit over a month, is now the fifth grossing movie in history at the domestic box office—surpassing Titanic ($659 million)  and Jurassic World ($652 million). The web-slinging teen even passed Avengers: Infinity War ($678 million). Not only that, No Way Home had a record-breaking opening weekend of $260 million—the second-largest domestic opening of all time. The reason for that? All the speculation surrounding what might happen in this movie, now with the Multiverse coming into play. With the famous villains from the other Spider-man movies being confirmed to come back, die-hard Spidey fans hoped that Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire would return, too. This movie had everyone at the edge of their seats for the whole 2 hours and 28 minutes it ran. Having 93% rotten tomatoes, everyone around the world adored this movie.

Buckle up and proceed with caution, this article is about to contain major spoilers. 

     No Way Home picks up right after the mid-credit scene from Far From Home when Peter discovers that his identity was leaked by Mysterio. Some may ask… what’s the big deal? Don’t other superheroes keep their identity open to the public? Well, yes. However, what makes Peter Parker, Peter Parker, or Spider-Man, Spider-Man, is that no one knows one is the other. What makes his story so relatable to all, both in the movies and the comics, is that while he saves thousands of people every day, he is still a regular, teenage boy. Besides close friends and some family, no one knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man. That is, of course, until Mysterio dropped the ball and made it look like Peter murdered him. So yeah, it’s a pretty big deal. The first 20 minutes of the movie show Peter and his besties, Ned and MJ (also his GF… AWE) trying to adjust to having the whole world know who he is. Now let’s get to the juicy stuff. 

     Peter, having major anxiety after his friends got rejected from M.I.T because of him, goes to the fan-favorite Doctor Strange. We find out that Wong has taken Strange’s place as the Sorcerer Supreme while he blipped for 5 years. Moving along, Peter explains that to further prevent his friends from getting hurt because of his now public secret, he needs Strange to create a spell that will make everyone forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Reluctantly, Strange says he’ll do it. Then the movie ends. Just kidding. If the movie ended there, it would’ve saved everyone many, many tears. Let’s not forget this is a Marvel movie—they love breaking hearts. Dwelling on the phrase “make EVERYONE forget Peter Parker is Spider-Man,” he remembers his friends and family and realizes he still wants them to know. Mid-spell, he asks Strange to change it. He does this 4 other times before Strange warns him that messing with the spell can lead to universal and dimensional damage—it will open up the Multiverse, something nobody knows anything about. Peter being Peter, changes it again (Strange said he changed it six times which isn’t true, so fans believe Strange changed it another time himself so that he’d remember him… so cute). A big explosion happens, and Strange traps the spell in a hexagon ball to stop it from getting out and causing any further damage. Little do they know, the spell had already opened the Multiverse to everyone that KNOWS who Peter Parker is. 


     Cue a lot of fighting and Peter trusting the wrong villains, he meets Doctor Octavious, The Lizard, Electro, Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), and Sandman *SCREAMING* Strange tells Peter that they must be sent back to where they came from after learning they were all sent to this universe right before they die… after trying to kill THEIR Peter Parker. That’s their fate. The teen doesn’t understand that though, and believes that he can send them back better than he found them (pan back to Aunt May telling him he should always do the right thing), ultimately wanting to change their fate and give them a second chance. That stood true for Doc Oc, but the other four, especially Norman, begged to differ. They refused any “fixing.”

      Seeing that the four didn’t want his help, Spider-Man got into a pretty bad fight with all of them. He had some help from Otto, but he could only do so much. Green Goblin being the Green Goblin, he wanted to see Spider-Man in pain. To see him defeated. To see him weak. He did exactly that by taking Aunt May’s life. Her last words? “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.” It’s okay, take a break from reading this and grab a tissue… you need it. 

      Marvel, as always, had fans sobbing one second and clapping in awe the next. Ned stole Stange’s ring and figured out how to open portals. MJ thought they could use the portal to find Peter Parker after not hearing from him in a long time. But… WHICH Peter were they going to find? *smirking face emoji* Saying “show us where Peter Parker is,” Ned opens the portal and there he is. But it’s not him. He takes off his mask and OH MY GOODNESS IT’S ANDREW GARFIELD???!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!? MJ and Ned are as confused as ever, and MJ will not stop throwing bread at him to see if he has the tingle. Incredulous that there’s more than one Peter Parker or Spider-Man, Ned opens another portal. But wait, this guy doesn’t have a suit on. He looks like a regular dude. Stepping out the portal, we see that it’s not an ordinary guy. It’s OH MY GOSH TOBEY MAGURE!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? OK, Jon Watts. We temporarily forgive you for taking Aunt May. Temporarily. 

      Tom Holland’s Peter encounters the two Spider-Men as they share his pain and loss. Andrew Garfield never got the trilogy he deserved, so fans didn’t get to see how he mourned and coped with Gwen Stacy’s death. However, they teased it a bit in this scene after Andrew explains that Gwen’s death caused him to become vengeful and did things he regretted. Um.. dark Spider-Man? Yes, please. Now give Andrew Garfield a third movie. Anyway, after this heart-wrenching scene, the trio of Peter Parker’s work together to put a stop to Green Goblin and the other three villains. Fans even got to see a hilarious, brotherly interaction between the three as they talk about how Tobey can naturally shoot webs out of him, the craziest villains they’ve fought, and Andrew being coined “Amazing” by Tobey. 

      The Spider-Men fight in a cinematic showdown that is sure to go down in history. Now, of course, Spider-Man’s love interest is bound to fall from a tall building in these big fighting sequences. When MJ falls, however, it isn’t Tom who catches her, it’s Andrew. You could see in his eyes that he was the one who needed to do it. He needed that redemption—that closure—he never got after being unable to save his MJ. Successfully catching her, you can see Andrew feeling Gwen’s presence as he holds MJ in his arms, telling him that he can finally let go and move on. SOBS.

     In the final battle between Tom’s Peter and the Green Goblin, Holland nearly kills him before Tobey stops it. If in the later movies Venom reunites with Spider-Man, that darkness exhibited by the MCU’s Parker can be later rekindled, and Spidey fans would kill to see it.

    Doctor Strange and Peter realize that the only way to send everyone back where they came from is to make everyone forget who Peter Parker is. Meaning, everyone will know who Spider-Man is but have no memory of Peter Parker. It will be like he never existed. Any trace of him will disappear, Happy Hogan would forget about him, Strange, and even his best friends, Ned and MJ, will go on with their lives as if he was never there. OK, Jon Watts and Marvel… You’ve done it again. You have broken our hearts.

     Peter takes on that responsibility which Aunt May had taught him. He says a final goodbye to his two new brothers, Andrew and Tobey, Doctor Strange, his guy-in-the chair, Ned, and finally his girlfriend, MJ. MJ says not to worry, as she figured out that he was Spider-Man before and can do it again. 

     But wait, it’s not over yet… These last 10 minutes bring on yet another downpour of tears. Peter goes to the cafe MJ works at, with a letter, to see her and Ned. That letter, we assume, was an attempt at him getting his friends to recall who he is. After seeing that MJ had a band-aid from the cut she got during the final battle, he remembers the pain he brought her and Ned, and decides not to give them the letter. COME ON PETER. However, MJ had the Black Dahlia necklace Peter gave her in “Far From Home…” and when Peter left the cafe, MJ looked taken aback—as if she was experiencing Deja Vu. Because everyone knows Spider-Man, fans speculate that memories of Peter Parker were replaced with Spider-Man… meaning that MJ has memories of SPIDER-MAN giving her that necklace. Thus, people believe that MJ will grow interested in who Spider-Man is, as she once did in the previous movie, and will follow him until she figures it out. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that. 

    The pain doesn’t stop there! As Parker visits Aunt May’s grave, Happy Hogan happens to be there, mourning. Happy asks how he knew her and he says “Spider-Man,” to which Hogan replies “me too:” further validating the memory theory. The saddest part of this scene though… THE FACT THAT HER GRAVE DID NOT SAY “LOVING AUNT” BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS WHO PETER IS, WHICH MEANS THAT HE WASN’T THERE TO SEE HIS OWN AUNT’S FUNERAL. *Blows into tissue.*

     The movie ends beautifully, nonetheless, with Tom taking a traditional route in sewing his own suit inspired by his two brothers. Only being 17 and experiencing so much loss and despair, Peter is ready to transition into adulthood and finally become the Spider-Man he is destined to be. 

    WOW. That was a lot to unpack. This movie was the ultimate crossover, even better than Avengers: Infinity War, and many fans hope to see Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire in the suit again. There have been countless fan posters made for a third “Amazing Spider-Man” movie as well as a fourth Tobey Maguire movie. I’m a big advocate for the third Amazing Spider-Man movie. Andrew was great in this film. Sony and the directors of his movies robbed Andrew in numerous ways, preventing him from playing Peter the best he could. But with “No Way Home,” people realize that it was not Andrew’s fault that the Amazing Spider-Man did not do as well as it could, and we hope Marvel gives him another chance with a third movie. 

     “No Way Home” opens the MCU to countless opportunities. With the multiverse now at the forefront, there is no telling what they are going to do with all the plethora of possibilities— prominently what they might do in the next Doctor Strange movie. Whatever they decide to do must top what they’ve done with this movie. Let’s just say, I’m not ready for that.